Former White House aide Hope Hicks said former President Trump shrugged off concerns from advisers and officials in his orbit that his claims of fraud during the 2020 presidential election could damage his legacy.
“I was becoming increasingly concerned that we were damaging — we were damaging his legacy,” Hicks said of the election fraud claims in an interview with the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol that aired during the panel’s final public meeting on Monday.
In response, Trump “said something along the lines of, ‘Nobody will care about my legacy if I lose, so that won’t matter. The only thing that matters is winning,’” Hicks said in the interview.
Hicks worked with the Trump Organization and on Trump’s 2016 campaign before becoming a prominent player during his tenure in the White House. She served as Trump’s third White House communications director and left for a stint with Fox News before rejoining the administration as a counselor to the president.
The Jan. 6 panel released the footage of Hicks in its much-anticipated final public meeting before announcing criminal referrals against the former president, recommending that the Department of Justice criminally investigate Trump for inciting an insurrection, conspiracy to defraud the U.S., conspiracy to make a false statement and obstruction of an official proceeding.
Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) on Monday said Hicks is just one of a number of officials and advisers who told Trump that there was no evidence of significant fraud during the 2020 presidential election that led to his loss to Joe Biden, and who warned him about his continued claims.
“Despite all that, he continued to purposely and maliciously make false claims, sometimes within a day of being told that a particular claim was false and unsupported by the evidence,” Lofgren said.
The Jan. 6 panel indicated that the Hicks interview helped underscore how Trump, despite counsel from his senior staff, Cabinet officials and members of his family to accept a peaceful transition of power, propagated “The Big Lie.”
“He disregarded their advice and he continued to claim publicly that the election had been stolen from him,” Lofgren said.